The second straight Falcons loss, coupled with a fresh injury to Grady Jarrett, has plunged the Falcons fanbase into a state of despair I frankly hoped we would not have to endure at all this year. Whether you’re hanging on in the face of injuries and tough odds or already daydreaming about 2019, chances are you’re not hyper-confident in this team’s short-term outlook.
That’s why it’s not surprising to see fan confidence at a new low for the season in our weekly FanPulse poll. Just 30% of Falcons fans polled felt confident about the direction of the team heading into a tough Week 5 matchup against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
What’s behind the decline?
A second straight backbreaking loss. The Falcons once again had multiple chances to close out an opponent and couldn’t do it despite a terrific effort on offense, with coverage failing at the very end of the game against the Bengals. Given that Cincinnati scored 37 points and Atlanta scored 36, that hurts.
Add in an injury to Grady Jarrett that is going to keep him out at least one week and it’s not a surprise that nobody’s feeling a huge confidence boost from the return of Devonta Freeman. You can’t legitimately expect to endure two of these kinds of losses plus an injury and not see people get discouraged.
Would a win make a difference?
Yes. I expect you’d see this tick back up to something like 40%. A win over a Steelers team that has disappointed but still has legitimate talent would make us all feel a bit better, and at 2-3, the Falcons would seem a lot less dead in the water than they do right now. It’s not a panacea—getting to .500 with a decisive win over the Bucs the next week might be—but it’ll help confidence and it’ll help decrease the overall dread we’re feeling about this season.
So please win, Falcons.